Blue Dogs push for new blood

Raby and Van Haaften secured their endorsements last week after meeting with groups of local Blue Dog Democrats, said their respective campaigns. Raby huddled with Mississippi Rep. Travis Childers, Alabama Rep. Bobby Bright, Florida Rep. Allen Boyd and Tanner, while Van Haaften met with Indiana Reps. Joe Donnelly, Baron Hill, and Ellsworth, whose seat he is seeking.

The Blue Dog endorsement typically provides candidates with an opportunity to distinguish themselves from party leaders.

In an interview, Raby, who faces a November battle against Republican Madison County Commissioner Mo Brooks, argued that the Blue Dog seal of approval would help him sell himself as an independent-minded and fiscally conservative Democrat in a district where John McCain won 61 percent of the vote.

“It’s going to be helpful for my campaign in north Alabama. It’s a well-known political commodity,” said Raby, whose campaign website makes no mention that he’s a Democrat. “People understand that a Blue Dog is a congressman who can focus on issues and not politically pander.”

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